T.I. Bought Up His Neighborhood in Atlanta and Is Building Affordable Housing
T.I. is from Bankhead, Atlanta
T.I. was raised by his grandparents in Atlanta’s Center Hill neighborhood, just off Bankhead Highway. Center Hill sits just down the road from the neighborhood of Bankhead, and is regarded by some as an extension of Bankhead.
He started rapping at the age of 8 and continued to work hard at his craft over the following decade. He attended Frederick Douglass High School but eventually dropped out.
His stage name originally came from his childhood nickname “Tip,” after his paternal great-grandfather. He was once known as “Rubber Band Man,” referring to the custom of wearing rubber bands around one’s wrist to show wealth in terms of drugs or money.
T.I. bought up part of Bankhead
T.I., of course, went on to become a world-famous rapper with several hit songs to his name. And with all the wealth he amassed, he’s funneling it back into his home community.
In November 2021, Tip shared a video on Instagram of a construction zone in Atlanta and revealed that it was his own project. “Checkin’ on my development here in Bankhead, you know what I’m saying?” he said in the clip. “Right here used to be the old K-Mart … Now we got affordable housing.”
“143 units going up, mixed-use community, you dig?” he continued. “We about 40 percent done. We supposed to be done sometime next year.” The completed development will include a community garden, community center, greenhouse, and more.
“Since everybody’s from here, what you done did for here?” he said, referring to other Atlanta rappers seemingly forgetting about where they came from. “I ain’t finna do a whole bunch jaw-jacking. I’m gonna show mine. But, you know, this is our first project as developers. We’re proud of it.”
T.I. has invested in other properties in Center Hill
T.I.’s development project in Bankhead isn’t the first property that the rapper has bought up with plans to revitalize it. He’s spent over $2.7 million since 2017 to buy six properties and plots of land in his old Center Hill neighborhood as part of his Buy Back The Block initiative.
“You can do well and do good at the same time,” he told HipHopDX in 2020. “You don’t have to be a slumlord in order to make money. You don’t have to be a poor person in order to give back. I believe that the best way to help people in need in the community is to not become one. I am in the for-profit business.”
“Philanthropy is something I do because I like to do it,” he added. “But when my money goes somewhere and I invest into a community, I’m doing that to make money — don’t get me wrong. But the money that I make gives me a strength and freedom to invest more into the community.”